Life in Antarctic lake? It’s everywhere else

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists expect to find microbes in a lake two miles beneath the thick ice of Antarctica. If so, it will illustrate once again that somehow life finds a way to survive in the strangest and harshest places.

And it offers hope that life exists beyond Earth.

Russian researchers reported Wednesday that they had reached Lake Vostok. It’s a pristine body of water untouched by light or wind for about 20 million years.

It doesn’t sound like a place where life could exist, but scientists keep finding germs in places where they don’t expect, from underneath ice to hot mines. There’s even a bizarre germ nicknamed Conan the Bacterium that survives deadly radiation.

Scientists may find similar weird germs deep inside Mars or on the moons of Saturn or Jupiter.